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IMS Health GmbH & Co. OHG v. NDC Health GmbH & Co.

Case C-418/01 2004 E.C.D.R. 239 (2004)

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IMS Health GmbH & Co. OHG v. NDC Health GmbH & Co.

European Court of Justice

Case C-418/01 2004 E.C.D.R. 239 (2004)

Facts

IMS Health GmbH & Co. (IMS) provided data to pharmaceutical companies in Germany in a format referred to as a brick structure. IMS distributed these brick structures to pharmaceutical companies free of charge to both pharmacies and doctors. A former manager of IMS left the company in 1998 and began work with Pharma Intranet Information AG (PII), another company that marketed data in brick structures. PII eventually started using brick structures consisting of 1,860 or 3,000 bricks, very similar to the structures used by IMS. PII was later acquired by NDC Health GmbH & Co. (defendant) (NDC). PII sought an injunction in Germany against NDC from using these data structures. After the German courts granted and affirmed the injunction, NDC filed a complaint with the Commission of European Authorities, contending that IMS’s refusal to grant its license to use the brick structure violated Article 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (Article 82 EC) because IMS had engaged in abusive content as a dominant party in the market. The German courts stayed their proceedings and referred the legal questions to the European Court of Justice.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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